As of now, Orisson has a new procedure for booking a bed. Someone on the Camino forum’s made up this great instruction guide.
Many people would like to walk the Camino, but, at the same time would also like to have their trip pre-planned with lodging, meals, and maybe even bag transport. There are many companies out there. Here is a list of those that have been recommended by other Sacramento Pilgrims.
It is important to note that these recommendations came from our members. Sacramento Pilgrims does not recommend nor do we endorse any of these companies. None of the coordinators has any personal experience with any of them. It is important for you to do your own research and to make your own decisions as to which to choose if any. It is very possible to walk the Camino without using a travel company, however, we totally support anyone doing the Camino in whatever fashion works for them.
The Camino Levante begins in Valencia in the south of Spain. The route is 800 Km from Valencia to Zamora. At Zamora, it joins the Via de la Plata. From Zamora to Santiago de Compostela you will have three choices. You could walk north to Astorga where the Via de la Plata joins the Camino Frances and then follow the Frances to Santiago. You could walk north through Astorga and continue on to Gijon and then walk the balance of the Camino del Norte to Santiago, or lastly, you could take the Camino Sanabrase which goes across the mountains and through Ourense and on to Santiago. The least of these choices will add another 400 km to your journey and some even more.
The Camino Levante is well-marked thanks to the pilgrim association of Valencia. Pilgrim Association of Valencia It is very important to buy a guidebook from the association as there are not many sources of information about this route. The association has an office with limited hours. It looks like it is open in the morning on Wednesday’s and the evening on Fridays.
Here is another link to information about the route. Vivecamino.com
Travel from Barcelona to St Jean Pied de Port
What is the best way to get to St Jean Pied Du Port from Barcelona airport?
If you want to travel by train, the best route is to take the RENFE train from terminal 2 to Sants Estació (Barcelona Sants train station)
The RENFE train travels from Barcelona Airport to Santa. It takes about 20 minutes from the airport to Santa Estació.
If you are arriving into Terminal 1 of Barcelona airport you will need to catch the free shuttle bus from the terminal to the train station.
The train departs terminal 2 approximately every 1/2 hour starting at 6:08 am.
From the train station, you can take a train to Pamplona. There are 3 to 5 departures daily.
ViBaSa( Monbus) is the bus company that goes from Barcelona to Pamplona. The bus departs from the Sants Estació (Barcelona Sants train station) and travels to Pamplona. There are 2 to 4 departures daily.
ALSA operates a bus to Zaragoza with a transfer to a bus to Pamplona from Barcelona Estació Nord. You must purchase the tickets separately as they are considered two journeys.
There is a bus that travels from Pamplona to SJPP. From March to the end of October there are usually 2 buses per day. In the winter the bus only goes to Roncesvalles.
For Winter Walkers or those who arrive in Pamplona to late to catch the bus.
From Pamplona, you can take the bus to San Sebastian/Donostia. From San Sebastian/Donostia you can take one of two bus companies ALSA or PESA to Bayonne. The SCNF train runs 4 times per day from Bayonne to SJPP.
I found this pdf about Vegetarian food on the Camino Francés. I thought it might be helpful.vegetarian-food-along-the-camino-frances-march-15-2018
The Camino Primitivo or Original Way is arguably the oldest Camino route. It travels from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela directly over the mountains. This is one of the most challenging routes, but the pilgrim is rewarded with amazing views and a beautiful walk. This Camino is not meant to be walked in the winter as dangerous conditions exist during the winter months. The total distance of this Camino is approximately 321km.
The reason that this Camino is called the first Camino is that in the year 813 after the discovery of St James grave, King Alfonso II of Gallaecia walked to Santiago. He started in Asturias and traveled through Asturian villages on his way to Lugo. From Lugo, he continued on to Santiago de Compostela. When he arrived he ordered that a church be built upon the site when the grave was discovered. Today that church is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Many people followed in the footsteps of King Alfonso II and thus the Camino Primativo was born.
This is considered one of the hardest Caminos as the trail travels through the mountains of Asturias and Galicia. There are few albergues, there are, however, many private hostels, casa rurals, and hotels. The main cities along the way are Oviedo, Lugo, and Santiago de Compostela. There are many ups and downs along the way as the pilgrim will travel along many mountain trails.
There are 13 or 14 stages along this route. Of the 321Km about half are in Galicia and half in Asturias. The weather even in the summertime can be wet. Both Galicia and Asturias are along the Atlantic coast of Spain. Coastal weather of rain and clouds are possible year round.Camino-Primitivo-stages
Camino Invierno or Winter Camino
The Camino Invierno begins in Ponferrada and follows the Sil river towards Santiago de Compostela. It is said that this route was used to transport ore during the winter months instead of going over the snow-covered mountains of O’Cebrerro. Although it is called the Winter Camino it is a route that can be traveled all year long.
Below you will find a link to the Camino Invierno association website as well as a pdf of a guidebook which is updated annually by a fellow pilgrim on the caminodesantiago.me forum. There are sets of stages to make this Camino in 9, 10, 12, 14 or even 16 days if you want to keep your daily walks under 20km per day. The 9 days Camino is the original but as you can imagine there are some long days and within these long days are some steep climbs and descents.
The last few days the Invierno joins the Camino Sanabres which is a variant of the Camino Via de la Plata. This Camino is not for everyone. It is more of a solitary walk as few pilgrims walk this route each year, although, it is slowly becoming more popular and is well marked. Basic knowledge of Spanish is a must as you will walk through many pueblos and towns that have few English speakers.
There are plenty of albergues along the way as well as casa rurals, and hotels. A mobile phone with cell service is recommended to be able to call ahead for reservations if necessary.
This is an excellent guide to Santiago de Compostela written by Johnny Walker a Dutch pilgrim who now lives in Santiago. It was written last year and has some fantastic information in it including a walk around Santiago that takes you along many of the Camino routes as they enter the city.
The Camino Ingles or English Way was originally for pilgrims who started in the UK and then took a boat to the Spanish coast to continue their walk to Santiago de Compostela. It is possible to walk the Ingles beginning in either A Coruña or Ferrol. From A Coruña the walk is 74km which technically does not entitle the pilgrim to a Compostela, however, there has been an exception made so long as the pilgrim has walked at least 26km in their home country.
The walk from Ferrol is 122km which is enough for a Compostela on its own. For the purposes of this post, we will use Ferrol as the starting point. The way markings are generally good. This Camino is also called the Antiguo Camino Real and sometimes it will be referred to that way on the way markings. This Camino can be walked in 5 days by combining stages 1 and 2. Due to the fact that this Camino is entirely in Galicia, the weather can be challenging. Although it is never really crowded it is mostly populated with pilgrims in July and August.
Getting to Ferrol:
If you are flying from The US to specifically walk the Ingles then you could easily fly into A Coruña and then bus or taxi to Ferrol. You can also fly into Santiago de Compostela the take a bus from the bus station to Ferrol.
Stage 1 Ferrol to Neda 15km
The first stage begins in the Cruzeiros port, in Ferrol. It is relatively easy with slight inclines and declines. For part of the stage, you will be near the Atlantic Ocean and part is through an industrial area.
Sites to see – Xubia: The monastery church, Neda: 14th Century Church of San Nicolis.
Stage 2 Neda to Pontedeume 16km
Both Neda and Pontedeume have beautiful old quarters.
Sites to see – Pontedeume: The bridge, Church of Santiago, Andrade tower.
Stage 3 Pontedeume to Betanzos 21km
This stage is very green. It is mostly rural with a beautiful village along the way, Miño.
Sites to see – Lambre: Medevil bridge, Betanzos: Chruches of Santiago, Santa Maria, and San Francisco.
Stage 4 Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma 28.3km
This is the longest and most difficult stage. This stage like the last will be through a rural area, you’ll be surrounded by farmland and beautiful landscapes.
Stage 5 Hospital de Bruma to Sigüeiro 24.8km
This stage is a nice leisurely stage. We are close to Santiago de Compostela. The path is softer made of dirt or paved. There is more opportunity to stop in bars or restaurants and there are many along this stage.
Stage 6 Sigüeiro to Santiago de Compostela 16.5km
This stage starts in the beautiful forests of gum trees and then quickly we come upon the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Invierno or Winter Way is a Camino that was originally followed by pilgrims during the winter months to try to avoid snow, mud, and rain. It travels from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela. The last 100km is comprised of 3 stages of the Camino Invierno and 2 stages of the Camino Sanabres. It totals 133.5 km.
Day 1 Monforte de Lemos to Chantada (29.7km)
Day 2 Chantada to Rodeiro (25.8km)
Day 3 Rodeiro to A Laxe (27.2km)
Day 4 A Laxe to Outeiro (34.1km)
Day 5 Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela (16.7km)
The above is only an example of what you can choose to do. There are many ways to walk the Camino. If you would like there are transport services that will carry your backpack or luggage from place to place so that you only need carry a day pack.
There is a pilgrim’s Mass every day in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It begins at noon. You are not allowed to bring your backpack into the Cathedral so you will need to check into your lodging or store your pack prior to entering. The pilgrims Mass is very moving experience whether you are Catholic or not it does not matter.
It is best to make reservations for your stay in Santiago de Compostela as it can be very crowded depending on the time of the year that you arrive. Booking.com is an excellent resource for making reservations.